Posted by Elise Jost @elise
"It's a UNIX system! I know this!"
Elise Jost

When a show is based on a book, you can count on fans of both to meticulously compare how the characters are treated on paper and on the screen, arguing about which version portrayed them better. But while they might be reading and watching the story at the same time, new chapters aren't always released simultaneously — so how can they avoid spoiling the story for themselves?

One of the biggest examples is obviously Game of Thrones, with author George R. R. Martin still holding on to the much-awaited ending. If the last book was published before the show came to an end, would you read it or wait for the series to catch up? Same dilemma for The Walking Dead, with the comics still being regularly released while we're waiting for Season 7 on AMC.

The Walking Dead Writer Robert Kirkman Wants To Make Sure The Show Doesn't Spoil The Comics

But unlike Martin, who reportedly shared with the Game of Thrones showrunners how he was planning to end the saga, the creator of the Walking Dead comics, Robert Kirkman, isn't going to give a single hint to the team shooting the ending for the small screen. Talking to Kevin Smith on AMC's Geeking Out, Kirkman explained he wouldn't want the show to spoil the comics:

"If the show were to ever end, ever, at any point and the comic was still going, I would have to sit down with Scott and pretend I have no idea how to end it, and then work with him to try and come up with a new ending."

Some would argue that a TV show adaptation is satisfying enough if it's staying relatively true to the source material, and that knowing the original ending doesn't take away from the enjoyment of comparing the versions and discovering new details. However, it seems more interesting to have the creator behind each medium take the story into their own hands — and possibly take it different places.

It Wouldn't Be The First Time The Walking Dead Diverged From The Comics

Image Comics
Image Comics

This way, Kirkman can avoid the books spoiling the show and vice versa. Plus, cliffhangers like the incredibly tense finale to Season 6, in which we saw Negan kill one of Rick's team but not the victim's face, couldn't work if the show claimed to always be faithful to the existing material.

Walking Dead fans know by now who got hit by the bat in the comics, but there's no guarantee that the show is going to sacrifice the same character. And it keeps the suspense alive, don't you think?

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